Before & After

How to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving See the Before & After of Our Updated Kitchen

How to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

Happy Monday!!! Today I want to share with you how we updated our kitchen in just two weekends, using removable wallpaper and open shelving. When we moved in we knew that we’d want to do some work on our kitchen eventually, but it’s not quite in the budget for us to do a whole overhaul right now (counters, backsplash, cabinets, appliances, etc). So we decided to make an update that has a lot of impact, but didn’t take very long or cost very much. This will hold us over until we have a whole kitchen renovation in the budget… it seriously makes the kitchen a much brighter, happier place to work!

Below I’ve included a couple before/after shots side by side (CRAZY, RIGHT?!), followed by some process shots and how-to ramblings… so if you aren’t interested in that kind of stuff, scroll down for ALL the beautiful after photos!

Before & After

How to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis MinnesotaHow to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

Here’s a view looking into the kitchen from our dining room. When we bought the house there was a cabinet hanging down over the peninsula that we tore out right away—for obvious reasons!

How to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

And then in this view you can see the whole wall better. The before photo here was after we tore down the overhanging cabinet.

The Process

How to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

Step One: Demolition

Take down the cabinets! We had a couple friends come over to help out, but besides needing some more brawn, this was a pretty simple step. After removing the trim and shelves from the cabinets, we unscrewed and applied force when necessary to take the cabinets down. Brian also did some electrical work with the light above the sink prior to taking the cabinets down.

How to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

Step Two: Repair & Prime

Spackle and sand any holes, clean any mold or residue, and prime! As you may have noticed in the previous photo, we actually had a couple mold spots on our ceiling under the cabinets. It revealed a larger problem of lack of insulation up there, so Brian put some insulation in the attic above the spot, then we cleaned everything up and applied a couple coats of Kilz primer to the wall and ceiling, then applied a coat of ceiling paint.

How to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

Step Three: Apply Wallpaper

We chose to go with a removable peel-n-stick wallpaper for our wall, both to add interest, and to hide any imperfections in the wall. The gold speckled wallpaper is from Target and we ended up going with two rolls. We have lots leftover, but because of needing to match up the pattern, you’ll need more than you think. This stuff goes on like a giant sticker and can be repositioned quite a bit (trust us!). We followed the instructions on the package and are super happy with the results!

How to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

Step Four: Install Shelving

Lastly, we installed our shelves! We bought simple black L brackets and white shelves from Home Depot… we were really trying to do this project on a tight budget! But I also like the simplicity in the shelving we picked out since it really lets the wallpaper and dishes shine. As you can see in the above photo, we installed our first shelf directly above our backsplash, so we just drilled it in with long screws. On the drywall, we used toggle bolts to secure our shelves (don’t want our dishes crashing to the ground in the middle of the night!).

Introducing Our Bright & Spacious Kitchen

Alright, so now on to the good stuff! 😉 Here’s what our kitchen looks like now!

How to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis MinnesotaHow to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

On the longer shelves to the right of our sink are our everyday plates and bowls, along with some serving bowls, favorite recipe books, and other decor. I love leaning cutting and serving boards up against the backsplash since they don’t take much space, but add a little something to the counter. The Kitchenaid we received as a wedding present sits at the ready, in hopes that it will entice me to bake and cook more! 🙂

How to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota How to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota How to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

We installed this new faucet a month or two ago, and it’s one of my favorite upgrades we’ve made to the house. If you look at the before photos above you can see the old faucet was short and, well, old! This tall one makes dish-washing and pot-filling so much easier, and we love having the sprayer attached to the head of the faucet.

How to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis MinnesotaHow to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

Here’s the other side of the kitchen—still filled with lots of wood cabinets… for now! 😉

How to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis MinnesotaHow to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

On the shelves to the left of the sink are our glasses. We opted for two shelves instead of three on this side to give a bit more breathing room, and allow space for some artwork. I like that the two sides aren’t exactly identical.

How to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

I am obsessed with Mrs. Meyer’s soap, and my current favorite is “Iowa Pine!” It straight up smells like a Christmas tree and makes me so happy every time I wash my hands! The little dishes scrubbers are from Grove Co. and I love how I can keep them out since they’re so cute!

How to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis MinnesotaHow to Create a Brighter & More Spacious Kitchen with Open Shelving | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

And here’s the whole view again! I’m really loving the drastic improvement, and although it did take some time, I feel like it was relatively easy for how big of a change it brought to the space. Thanks so much for taking the time to read! It’s so fun to get to share our adventure in homeownership with you. Would you ever consider tearing down some cabinets in favor of open shelving?

Get the look:

For more tips on how to create an organized home, check out my free email course—‘5 Days to an Organized Home.’ 

5 Days to an Organized Home Free Email Course | Mysa Home Styling | Serving homeowners by helping them create functional & cozy spaces that cultivate contentment & joy | Minneapolis Minnesota

This free five day course includes a focus on five different areas of the home, with tips, must-have organization tools, and daily “Put it Into Action” steps you can take in your own home.

Enroll here for the free email course!

My hope is that you’ll walk away from the course feeling empowered and encouraged in your organizing endeavors, and that the tips and tricks I share will help you create a home that is both cozy and functional!

I’m In!

The Douglas Digs After: Living Room See our Mid-Century Eclectic Living Room!

The Douglas Digs After: Living Room | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

Good morning, friends! Today I am so thrilled to get to share our living room with you! If you didn’t get a chance to see the before photos, be sure and go back to look at those, since this space has gotten quite the punch of personality since we moved in. I would describe this room as definitely channeling the mid-century vibe of the house… as one friend put it, “it embodies everything good about the 70’s.” Ha! It also has a pretty heavy dose of eclectic coziness… lots of pattern and texture going on, with a limited color palette.

img_1385The Douglas Digs After: Living Room | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

Right when we closed we scraped off the sparkly popcorn ceiling, gave everything a couple coats of white paint, then added furniture and accessories! Most everything in this room is thrifted or from Ikea or Target… but really mostly just thrifted. 🙂 What can I say? Girl loves a good find! We got the old record console at a thrift store for $6 this summer, and the green couch was a $40 Craigslist find! (We’ve since washed all the cushion covers and torn the skirt off.)

The Douglas Digs After: Living Room | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis MinnesotaThe Douglas Digs After: Living Room | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

One of my favorite features of the living room is this photo ledge from Ikea. It’s so much simpler than a gallery wall, but has the same effect. I kept mine extra simple with black and white photos and prints but gave it variety with differing frames.

The Douglas Digs After: Living Room | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis MinnesotaThe Douglas Digs After: Living Room | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis MinnesotaThe Douglas Digs After: Living Room | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

When I style bookshelves, I like to incorporate both books and accessories. Try stacking your books vertically as well lining them up on the shelf. It’s also a good rule of thumb to stagger accessories, like plants and other similar items like pottery or baskets.

The Douglas Digs After: Living Room | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis MinnesotaThe Douglas Digs After: Living Room | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

Bookshelves are the perfect place to display special memories, family heirlooms, and other meaningful decor. There’s the vintage camera that my grandparents just gave me, the driftwood from a family vacation up North, the vase of old dominoes from a weekend away, and so many other special pieces live on these shelves!

The Douglas Digs After: Living Room | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis MinnesotaThe Douglas Digs After: Living Room | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota The Douglas Digs After: Living Room | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

I love incorporating texture and pattern through my textiles. You can have 2–3 different patterns on your couch, and they should be varied sizes and colors (like my large-scale colorful pillow with my small-scale gray pillow!). A room does well with about 3–5 different patterns.

The Douglas Digs After: Living Room | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis MinnesotaThe Douglas Digs After: Living Room | Mysa Home Styling | Interior Design & Styling | Minneapolis Minnesota

And one more look at the whole thing. 🙂 We’re so happy with how our living room turned out! It’s bright and happy, while still being calming. I love the cozy vibes it gives off, and love having a group of friends gathered here.

Thanks for reading, friends, and for following the whole #douglasdigs journey! It’s been such a blast!

Get the look:

The Douglas Digs Before: Living Room See the blank canvas we started with!

img_1053

Hello there! Today I’m excited to share with you the before photos of our living room! Although the living room didn’t undergo as drastic of a change as the dining and kitchen (before here, after here), it certainly is one of my favorite spaces in the house and did receive quite a facelift! Things to notice? The really attractive ceiling fan, the sparkly popcorn ceilings (it’s faint, but if you look closely you can tell), the old window tracks, and the sort of “blah” paint color.

img_1047 img_1049

Here’s a view from the front door looking in. The large picture window in this room give it great natural light, which is a nice change from the darker living room in our last place! Another thing that we really love about this house are the beautiful wood floors throughout. The living room, hallway, and three bedrooms boast this original wood floor and that was a major selling point for us, as we’ve gotten used to and fallen in love with wood flooring in our homes!

img_1052 img_1053

The little shelf by the door is a bookshelf on the side of the living room, which provides some nice extra storage, and provides the perfect place to set your keys, mail, and anything else that you happen to be carrying into the house. We did consider taking it out, but as you’ll see in the after photos, we’ve decided to keep it (for the time-being anyway).

img_1057

So there you have it! The photos of our living room on closing day. Nothing too exciting, as it started out as a pretty blank canvas, but I’m still excited for you to see all the after photos to see how we took this space from very unexciting to cozy and completely reflecting our style! Have a good Tuesday, friends, and thanks for stopping by!

The Douglas Digs After: Kitchen & Dining

img_1201

Hooray for a new week! I am so excited to show you the “after” of our kitchen and dining spaces. And I use the term “after” very loosely, as we’ve only lived here two weeks and there’s still tons we plan to do… so let’s call this more of an in-between, shall we? 🙂 But I did want to share it here with you all because it has gone through quite the transformation in the past few weeks! We closed on a Thursday in late September and spent the following few days doing tons of projects, then moved in on a Sunday. Since then we’ve added small touches here and there, and are really happy with how things are for now. If you didn’t see the before photos, you have to check them out… the change is kind of crazy for how mainly aesthetic the changes were (rather than structural).

Here’s a little reminder:
img_1050

And the space now!img_1204img_1205

This is our dining room! It’s right off the kitchen, to the right if you’re standing at the front door looking in. As I mentioned in the before post, an actual dining room was pretty important to us since we have this 8-foot table and love entertaining and having groups of people in. So although this isn’t it’s own room with 4 walls, it has 2 1/2 walls, which is good enough for me!

img_1206img_1218

We have this awesome built-in in one corner that provides great extra storage as well as a spot to play around with my #shelfie skills. Since we don’t have a great spot for our bar cart in this house, I decided to use an old orange box to set up a little bar corner, and then my cookbooks and other decor grace the rest of the shelves. There used to be glass sliding doors over the shelves, but we took those down ASAP. The shelves are so much more modern and accessible now!

img_1219img_1222img_1221img_1223img_1224

So what exactly did we do in this room? Well, we freed it from it’s 60’s glamour by painting the wood panelling white, scraping the sparkly popcorn ceilings, and replacing the old chandelier with a new Ikea light. These changes made all the difference in the world and really brought the room into the 21st century! I really love how bright this space is now!

img_1225img_1231img_1227

This is the view from the dining room looking into the kitchen. If you remember from the before photos, there used to be a cabinet hanging down over that peninsula. The day we took it down the 5 people in the house all “oohed” and “ahhed” at the difference it made! It totally opened up the space and made it feel so much larger. And now the eye-line from one dining space to the next is completely open.

Here’s a little reminder:

img_1040

And the space now!img_1244img_1235

Remember when I said that plants in kitchens are my favorite?? And also how trays can be used in every room??

img_1233

Down at the other end of the kitchen is our breakfast nook. Right when I saw this space I knew it needed some corner benches and a cute round table! I just love how cozy this space is and it’s much nicer to sit here when it’s just one or two of us, rather than being at the huge empty table in the dining room.

img_1207img_1208img_1210img_1238

So what did we do in the kitchen and breakfast nook? We painted it the soothing light aloe color, spray painted the kitchen light black and replaced the old ceiling fan in the nook, and of course decorated and added window treatments and furniture. Things that we look forward to doing? We have a beautiful tall faucet waiting to be installed, and I plan to replace the outdated hardware soon. Longer-term updates would be possibly painting the cabinets (although they’re in such great shape we might keep them as is… ideas??), and further down the road replacing the countertop and backsplash to something a bit more modern.

img_1240

Sources:
Dining room:
Paint: Kilz primer and Glidden Premium Pure White
Table: Pier One
Rug: Thrift Store
Pendant Light: Ikea
Chairs: Thrifted (white from Ikea)
Blinds: Home Depot

Kitchen:
Paint: Glidden Premium Frosted Mint
Table: Ikea
Corner benches: Craigslist
Nook Rug: Ikea
Sink Rug: Aldi
Ceiling Light: Ikea
Pillows: Ikea & Home Goods
Trash Can: Target

Get the look:

The Douglas Digs Before: Kitchen & Dining

img_1032

Happy Monday! We’ve now been moved into our new home (the #douglasdigs) for a week, and are feeling very at home. Yesterday we did our last big hurrah by finishing the painting (yay! I never want to see a paintbrush again!), clearing out our garage (yay for parking in the garage!), and hanging up most of our window treatments (yay for not living in a fish bowl!). So now, it’s mainly just little updates and fixes here and there, along with quite a few boxes that still need unpacking.

Today I wanted to share with you some before photos of the kitchen and dining area. I was going to edit them and make everything all presentable, but then I figured, “Hey! They’re before pictures! They aren’t supposed to be presentable!” Plus, that way when you see the after photos it will be more dramatic. 😉

So, above is the view of the kitchen from the back patio door. It’s definitely very ’60’s and something we’d like to update at some point down the road, but for now we made some minor-seeming changes that actually made a pretty big impact.

img_1033

This is the kitchen nook. We’d really love to put some bench seating in here with a little table… just enough for 2–4 people, since our dining table is huge and feels a little weird to sit at by yourself for breakfast. I love that we have two designated spaces for eating! That was actually a pretty big selling point for us. We looked at so many homes that didn’t have any separate dining space, which is kind of a deal-breaker since we have an 8-foot table that we enjoy filling with guests!

img_1037 img_1038

img_1040

And here’s the kitchen from the other side… the kitchen nook is back there at the other end. This photo is taken standing in the dining room. This view is SO different now and I can’t wait to show it to you!

img_1042

And here’s the dining room! Look at all that lovely wood paneling! 😉 And PLEASE notice that sparkly popcorn ceiling! Take a good long look because you won’t be seeing it anymore after this post! This room really got the overhaul during our quick 3 day renovations before moving in and now looks so much brighter and modern. There are built-in shelves and drawers on one wall that are great (and have also gotten a bit of a face-lift), and the best part? Our 8-foot table fits perfectly!

img_1045

img_1050

And lastly, here’s a view of the dining room from the front entrance. You can see a little peek of our living room… which will be up next! I hope to show you after photos of these spaces in the next month or so… we’ve done so much but have a few more things to do before the big reveal. In the meantime I’m sharing lots of photos on Instagram, so you can get some glimpses of the new spaces there!

img_1051

We are so in love with this house! My dad asked yesterday what our favorite part was and we said everything! We really do love how it has all come together and I can’t wait to show you photos that are brought into the present a bit. 🙂 Feel free to ask any questions in the comments, and have a wonderful, productive Monday. Thanks for stopping by!

Virtual Styling: Chic Desk in Wisconsin

Last month I was contacted by Gina, a young professional who needed a facelift for her home office space. She was going to be getting a new desktop computer and wanted a sleek, organized desk to work from. Gina lives in Wisconsin, so she chose the virtual styling “Quick Fix” package. Everything we did was over email and Pinterest, and was completed within a few days.

I had her send me some before photos of the area, along with measurements of the desk and inspiration photos for how she wanted to the space to look. She gave me a budget, and I got to work!

unnamed (4)
A before photo of Gina’s desk

Here are some inspiration photos that Gina sent. As you can see, most of the photos include light colored desks, and since Gina didn’t want to replace her desk we had to work around that, and create a chic space sans white desk.

I spent time pinning products that matched the aesthetic Gina was going for, then she went through and commented on things she really loved and things that weren’t quite her style. From that I created a design plan for her with products only from Target and Ikea for easy (and affordable!) shopping. I provided her with a source list of all the products, as well as the below plan for how to lay things out. Gina would have been able to completely follow the design plan if she would have opted for online shopping (I make sure that all products are available online at the time of the project), but she instead chose to shop in-store and use the Design Plan as a guide.

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 10.01.44 AM

She was able to find and purchase some of the exact Target products suggested, such as the gold horn bookends, mint hanging file folders, and ceramic bowl. She found similar items like the gold pineapple candle, faux succulents, and white wall shelves. So here’s how her desk styling turned out! Much more streamlined and filled with some cute accessories!

unnamedimage2.jpgunnamed (1)

Gina now has a chic space with a bit of glam and a lot of organization! Contact me if you have a similar project in your home that could use a bit of virtual styling!

You can get the look here:
Pineapple Candle, 14.99
Metal Horn Bookend, 15.29
Jansjo Gold Lamp, 12.99
Artificial Potted Succulent, 4.99
Ceramic Cup Pencil Holder, 7.99
Tabletop File, 12.99
Nesting Shelves, 19.99
Ceramic Bowl with Gold Rim, 2.99
Faux Marble Wall Clock, 11.99
Snille Swivel Chair, 19.99

 

Before & After: Cozy House in the Woods

Last week I got to spend some time styling at a lovely couple’s home in the woods. Megan had won a 2-hour styling session with me at a raffle and was looking for some help with her main living spaces. Here’s how things looked after we were done:

IMG_0206

And here are a few before photos. As you can see, there wasn’t a ton of changes, but the changes that were made were pretty impactful. The general layout stayed the same, we mainly just re-styled the mantel and gave the left side of the fireplace a new look.

IMG_0189

Megan and her husband recently purchased the canoe bookshelf off of Craigslist and had put in in the living room, unsure of where it should go. However, they didn’t like that it took the focus off of the beautiful fireplace, so they were thinking it should go elsewhere. As you can see, it’s a beautiful piece, and deserves it’s own spotlight.

IMG_0190IMG_0191

So here’s what we ended up doing with this area once the canoe bookshelf was moved. We put a small table that they had there that perfectly filled the space, and a large mirror over it. This was a mirror I had brought and they wanted to find something not so shiny and perhaps a bit more rustic (which I love!), but we kept this here for the general idea in the photos. I sold them them the large basket to create a separate space for some of her scrapbooks to sit in and we took a couple of the framed photos from the mantel to this space as well.

IMG_0196IMG_0197IMG_0199

As you can see, we kept the main focal point above the mantel those amazing snow shoes, but we changed up everything else. Before, their mantel had a lot of great family photos across it, so I definitely wanted to incorporate a lot of those, while still mixing things up and adding some variety. We added the chalkboard for some height and layering, and then threw in some books and a candle for added interest. Then it was just a matter of incorporating a few of the vintage pieces they already had up there with the remaining photo frames.

IMG_0208IMG_0209IMG_0213IMG_0214IMG_0215

The mixture of colors (black, light tan, brown, etc) works well on the mantel because each color is repeated either on the mantel or surrounding it. For example, the black in the chalkboard is picked up by the black photo frame and the TV and the light photo frames play off each other and the light wood throughout the room. Just make sure you’ve got some repetition of color/stain and you’re good to go!

IMG_0200

And here’s a little peek of where that awesome canoe bookshelf ended up. This room is just across the living room, so it still incorporates into it, but the bookshelf looks much more at home in an office. Plus, it shines in this room as a very special focal point… just what it deserves!

IMG_0186IMG_0217

I had a great time helping Megan and her husband create a more varied and unique look on their mantel and figure out a better solution for the canoe bookshelf and the space it used to occupy. Do you have a space in your house that you’re just not sure what to do with? Check out my services and contact me! I can’t wait to help you create a more cozy home!

Before & After: Newly Refinished Basement Becomes Family Haven

Shera and her husband recently built their home in a peaceful new neighborhood and they just finished off their basement and are working on creating a homey, comfortable hang out space. She reached out to me and booked the Rock What Ya Got styling package for their newly refinished basement in hopes that I could help her with arranging and styling a bunch of fun decor that she already had.

Before we got to styling, I snapped a few before photos and I promised Shera that I would tell the whole story as I shared the photos—so, the large pile under the window isn’t a mess of junk, it’s decorations! Styling this space was a dream since Shera provided me with all kinds of fun stuff to style with—baskets, mirrors, plants, candles, and more! She thoughtfully had it all laid out for me and before I started styling she pointed out things that she really wanted incorporated into the room.

IMG_9141
Before
IMG_9129
Before
IMG_9135
Before
IMG_9147
Before

The little nook above the piano was just begging to be filled, and Shera wanted to keep some of the sentimental family photos, so I was sure to incorporate the most precious. And that piece of furniture above is a work in progress as Shera purchased it (much more used looking!) and is in the process of restoring it into a bar cabinet. Eventually it will have criss-crossed wine storage on the left and a cabinet door on the right where wine glasses and other dishes will be stored.

And here’s the after!

IMG_9196

We moved this side table down to the basement and created more of a defined seating area for the space. Shera will eventually be getting new furniture down here since the couch is her daughter’s (who is currently home after graduating from college), but this space is cozy and functional for now. The small dining space behind the couches will be a great place for game-day snacks to be served and enjoyed, as well as provide extra seating for guests.

IMG_9151IMG_9193

I love it when a client wants to incorporate meaningful decor or objects with a story behind them. Shera won the vintage fan at a white elephant gift exchange years ago, which I was super impressed by since it’s so adorable! And the carved ducks were made by her husband back in the 70’s. Including these special objects makes the room so much more personal.

IMG_9159

Shera had a fun clock that we hung over the piano and we were able to incorporate some of those family photos while also adding variety, depth, and height to the shelf. She keeps the piano around for her other daughter to play when she comes and visits.

IMG_9163IMG_9168

The bar cabinet area turned out so great! Shera had the idea to make it a bit of a tribute to the Packers (their family’s smart team of choice!) and the cute Wisconsin beer cap holder was a Father’s Day gift to her hubby. We paired that with a signed photo from an old Packers player and a photo of the family at a Packers game. A shadowbox filled with wine corks paired perfectly with the beer cap hanging and helped to continue the bar cabinet theme.

IMG_9171IMG_9173IMG_9178IMG_9182IMG_9175

Shera had recently purchased the long wall hanging of the St. Croix River and it was a great accent on the wall next to the bar cabinet. The green in the map paired well with the green in the Packers photo and plant, and it was the perfect size for that space. I love how personalized this whole wall is and that it tells a story of their family!

IMG_9194

Working with Shera was a blast and the time flew by! I’m so glad that we were able to create a cozy space in their newly finished basement and that the space will not only be functional for their family, but beautiful and meaningful as well!

If you have a similar space that you’d like styled, check out my services and don’t hesitate to contact me!

Before & After: Light & Airy Dining Room Bookcase

Happy Monday, friends! It’s the start of a new week with all kinds of new possibilities! I’m looking forward to a quieter week, with a few fun plans sprinkled throughout. Last Friday I had two styling sessions back to back (such a blast!) and today I wanted to share one of them with you!

Amanda booked the Power Hour for us to work on her built in bookcase in their dining area. She and her husband have lived in their beautiful home for under a year (and have since had a baby!), and have done a wonderful job making it homey and adding their own personal touches. However, Amanda just wasn’t sure what to do with the large built-ins and felt overwhelmed by their size and visibility in her home.

So let’s take a look! Here are a few before shots. As you can see, Amanda did a great job filling the shelves with meaningful decor and she had a great starting point. They already had loads of cute accessories for the shelves, we just needed to do some editing and rearranging.

IMG_9201
Before
IMG_9197
Before
IMG_9198
Before

And here’s the after!

IMG_9243.jpg

The first thing we did is take everything off the shelves. I then had Amanda separate out the things that she really loved and wanted back on the shelves from the things that she felt weren’t quite working or that she maybe wanted to incorporate somewhere else in her home. After that I laid out a bunch of decor that I had brought for her to peruse and for us to include in the styling if she liked.

IMG_9210IMG_9212

And then we got to styling! We incorporated quite a few new things, both purchases that Amanda made from my inventory, as well as a few pieces from other rooms in her house. To give you a feel for the kinds of things that I provided for Amanda, she bought the large black pottery vessel with white circles, the big circular wooden tray in the top corner, the small pottery bowl on the stack of books, the wooden hexagon on the left shelves, the stack of 3 vintage books, and more! It was great to be able to fill her shelves right then and there, without having to suggest things for her to go out and have to find on her own. We were able to swap things out and try things on different shelves until it all felt right. And the best part? I buy it all at thrift stores for the cheapest prices I can find so that I can sell it to my clients for cheaper than they’d be able to get it at a home decor store! So it’s really a win-win!

IMG_9217IMG_9229

Here are my top three tips for styling a large bookcase like this for yourself:

  1. Stay within the same color palette. As you can see, the majority of the bookcase is styled in cool colors. We stuck with mainly black, white, aqua, blue, and dusty green, and some nice neutrals. There are a couple warm colors thrown in (the copper candle and reds in the globe above, for example) to help bring in some contrast.
  2. Layer, layer, layer. Create depth in your shelves by layering taller things behind shorter things, resting photos up against the back of the shelf, and incorporating lots of different shapes and textures.
  3. Balance is key. Try to not have every shelf styled in the center. Some shelves can have something just on one side, as long as it’s balanced by the shelf below or above it. Allow empty space to let the viewer’s eye ‘rest.’ Scatter color and ‘weight’ of objects around the shelves (for example, don’t put a bunch of heavier, black objects next to each other—pepper them throughout).

I truly believe that if you follow these three tips, and include decor that you love, you will have a beautiful bookcase in no time!

Working with Amanda was such a joy and the hour went by way too quickly! (And aren’t all their wedding photos just swoon-worthy?!) I’m so glad that this focal point of their home is now something that she is proud of! It holds a ton or character and pieces that she not only loves, but that are meaningful to her.

And one more view of the whole, pretty thing!

IMG_9243.jpg

Before & After: Rustic, Colorful Living Room

Yesterday I had the pleasure of styling for a couple hours at a beautiful home in the woods. Nichole had contacted me about spending some time going through her home and helping with some “problem areas” that she wasn’t quite sure what to do with, as well as give some advice on future design plans that she and her husband have for the house.

We spent the majority of our time in their living room. As you can see in the picture below, they already have great style and beautiful bones to their home, but Nichole just wasn’t sure about the arrangement of the room. The room felt a bit unbalanced—heavy on the left and empty on the right. So we started moving furniture and…

IMG_9042

… here’s where we ended up! Since their couch is curved, the corner ended up being the perfect place for it.  Moving the chair to under the large window helped to balance out the room, as well as create a more conversation-friendly area. The room now feels more cozy and intentional.

img_9060 copy

Nichole also wanted some help with the large shelf on her bookshelf. You can see in the first before photo that the shelf was originally filled with adorable photos of their kiddos. Despite being cute, it lacked depth and variety and was a bit busy. So I simplified it a bit by only including two matted and framed photos layered with a couple different vessels and a plant. The two vessels were part of a basket of decor I brought along with me for Nichole to choose from and purchase if she liked, and they added nice variety to the #shelfie.

The three colorful vintage books were also among the decor I brought and they added the perfect pop of color to the otherwise monochrome mantel. I’m always a fan of a stack of vintage books to add color and/or height.

Nichole was an amazing first client! We had a wonderful time discussing home design, their future hopes and plans for the house, killer places to shop in the Twin Cities, and her kiddos. They have a beautiful home, but just needed some direction and an outside opinion. I hope that the new living room arrangement works well for their family for this season of life and that they feel like their space is a bit more cozy!  Thanks, Nichole!

1 2